TORONTO, ONTARIO, Nov 08, 2011 A passion for creating a business in unmanned flying aerial vehicles that involved key partnerships with university researchers and other Ontario corporations to advance the research, development and commercialization of a new technology, has garnered the team at Aeryon Labs Inc. the prestigious Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) 2011 Mind to Market Award.
Aeryon Labs was presented with the award as part of the Ontario Centres of Excellence annual general meeting held last night in Toronto. The company designs and manufactures small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems for aerial sensing applications.
Most notably Aeryon Labs developed the Aeryon Scout, an innovative, easy-to-use, battery powered, unmanned aerial intelligence gathering system with integrated camera solutions. The design provides the collection of high resolution digital imagery and real-time digital video from the air. Uses and applications for the device include civil, commercial and military surveillance and inspection and data gathering.
“Companies like Aeryon demonstrate our province’s capacity to dev elop innovative technologies that will thrive in the global marketplace,” says Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation. “I congratulate the Aeryon Team on their passion and vision and leveraging the talent that lies in our academic institutions to transfer their research knowledge to commercial success.”
“We’re honoured to be the recipients of this year’s Mind to Market Award,” says Marni Vicar, Vice-President Operations, Aeryon Labs. “OCE has been an integral partner in Aeryon’s success over the years from providing funding through its Market Readiness and First Jobs programs; giving access to networking opportunities and profile at the OCE Discovery conferences and connecting us to key individuals in various industries that provided market information and potential customers.”
Since its inception, Aeryon has partnered with a variety of university researchers and Ontario corporations to advance the commercialization of their technology. One significant collaboration involved Professor Steven Waslander and his team at the University of Waterloo. Waslander is a leading researcher who studies the field of quad-rotor dynamics and multi-vehicle control for aerial systems. The collaborative project with Aeryon focused on the improvement of vehicle control and performance in a wide range of environments, which has been also been supported through both OCE and federal funding.
“Aeryon built a very technologically challenging product in such a way that anybody could use it.” says Dr. Steven Waslander, Assistant Professor, University of Waterloo. “Mike Peasgood and Dave Kroetsch of Aeryon Labs have an excellent handle of what the customer needs and on what the product boundaries are. Because of the wonderful collaboration we have with Aeryon, we can identify what technologies to push forward in the lab in order to more quickly have Aeryon bring them to market.”
Aeryon has also joined with researchers at Carleton University and Neptec through the GEOIDE program. This research involves developing new 3D modeling and analysis tools using aerial imagery from the Aeryon Scout, and will support the development of new technology for GIS and environmental monitoring markets.
Since its foundation in 2007, Waterloo-based Aeryon Labs Inc. has increased its workforce from three to 30 in 2011 and project they will reach 40 by the end of 2012.
“We’re proud to honour Aeryon Labs with the Mind to Market Award,” adds Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO, Ontario Centres of Excellence. “This Ontario success story truly demonstrates best practices in research and collaboration efforts between industry and academia to identify and address a market need. Congratulations.”
The Mind to Market Award sponsored by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) honours and celebrates the best Ontario Centres of Excellence supported research collaboration between the business and research communities resulting in the effective commercialization of leading edge ideas and solutions. Award recipients exemplify the innovation that is possible when the brightest minds in industry and academia collaborate to address today’s most critical issues.
To view a video of this year’s Mind to Market Award finalists, please visit the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnE1nJjb6MQ .
About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. ( www.oce-ontario.org )
Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario’s global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario’s industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, Ontario Centres of Excellence invests in sectors such as advanced health, digital media and information communications, advanced manufacturing and materials, and cleantech including energy, environment and water. OCE through its Centre for Commercialization of Research (CCR), an initiative supported by the federal government, also acts as a catalyst which allows innovative businesses to grow and achieve sustainable commercial success and global competitiveness. Ontario Centres of Excellence is a key partner in delivering Ontario’s Innovation Agenda as a member of the province’s Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is Ontario’s innovation system. The ONE is made up of regional and sector focused organizations designed to help Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their companies, and create jobs. For more information visit www.oneinnovation.ca